Māori Party co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer have announced they are launching a petition to change New Zealand’s name to Aotearoa.
Furthermore, they would like te Reo Māori names for all towns, cities, and places by 2026.
Waititi said that “Article 3 of Te Tiriti o Waitangi promises Tangata whenua the same rights as British citizens, that te reo Māori me ōna tikanga katoa be treated and valued exactly the same as the English language – ko te mana ōrite tērā.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would not commit to supporting the petition. However, she said place names could continue to be used interchangeably as te reo Māori is an official language.
Ardern said that “Te reo Māori’s an official language and so we use those names interchangeably and I think we should continue to do so.”